Ingrown Toenails: Toe Protectors Turned Attackers

Have you ever dropped something sharp on your foot, or stepped on something pointed? It hurts to damage your feet like that—especially if the object that harmed you pierced the skin. What about when your own body is the object that pokes and punctures the surface of the skin? It does happen, and more often than you may think. Nail tissue is hard and grows slowly, but if something happens to damage it, it can curve or change and become ingrown.

Nails Grown Wrong

Ingrown Toenails Cause Red, Swollen, and Painful ToesYour nails are supposed to grow straight outward from the nail bed to protect the ends of your toes. Sometimes, however, they curve or grow sideways and into your skin. Though this can happen naturally because of unusually curled nails or a congenital problem, usually it’s the result of an injury or poor trimming habits. Stubbing or otherwise hurting your toe damages your nails. Too-tight shoes cramp the toes and put pressure on the ends, curving the keratin tissue. Toenails that have rounded edges instead of straight ends, or are trimmed too short, may curve or grow more sideways as well. As it grows, it pinches or pierces the skin, causing irritation and inflammation. If left alone, the wound can even become infected. This uncomfortable condition leaves your toe red and swollen. Sometimes pus or clear fluid even drains out of the area—especially if it gets infected.

Cutting Out the Bad

Ingrown nails have a tendency to recur if they aren’t treated properly. The nail edge that is damaging the skin needs to be removed so the rest of the nail can grow back properly. Drs. Joel Brook, Arroyo, and McClurkin will evaluate the affected toe to determine the best way to repair the injury. If the condition isn’t too serious, the doctors may try to lift the nail and place cotton or gauze under it so that the nail is encouraged to grow straighter instead of curved. If the problem has progressed too far, however, you may need to have the nail partially or completely removed.

For a partial removal, your toe will be numbed. The portion of the nail tissue that is digging into the skin will be cut away and allowed to regrow straight. If the problem recurs, the nail root may be destroyed to prevent it from growing incorrectly again. For more serious ingrown nails, the whole nail may need to be excised. Any infection will need to be cleaned out and treated with antibiotics. This is especially important for patients who struggle with weakened immune systems, like diabetics, since even small infections can lead to serious complications. As you heal, you’ll need to be careful not to damage the unprotected end of your toe, but you should be able to return to your activities within a few weeks.

If you’re struggling with nails that pinch and poke and curl into your skin, you don’t have to suffer through it. Ingrown nails can be treated quite easily by the experts at Dallas Podiatry Works. Rather than wincing every time you have to wear shoes or walk around, restore your toes to health. Contact Dallas Podiatry Works for an appointment or more information by calling either of our two offices—for the Dallas office, call 972.853.7100; or for the Plano location, call (972) 943-3323—or by visiting our website contact page.

The doctor has great “bedside manners” when talking to patients. Great staff and comfortable atmosphere.

Derrick W.

The staff at Dallas Podiatry Works could not have been more courteous, helpful, and professional in doing their job. They made me feel comfortable when I was there, which is certainly appreciated. They answered all the questions that I had and just made each visit the most pleasurable that it could be. I would highly recommend them to anyone needing this type of foot care.

Joseph B.

I would highly recommend Dr. Brook to anyone with foot problems–especially problems that stump other podiatrists. He really is very caring and very knowledgeable.

Jeannette H.

Dr. Joel Brook and the staff were nice and helpful. Though I was a new patient, I got right in as soon as they were open in my preferred location. They diagnosed the problem and provided medicines along with a perfect gel bandage so I could keep exercising while my toes healed. My toes already hurt less and look a little better each day. If I have future issues, I will be a repeat customer. Here’s hoping I don’t, but at least I know my feet are in good hands.

Meryl E.

I visited this office for an ingrown toe nail a few years ago. After seeing another doctor, who made it worse, he referred me to Dallas Podiatry Works. The doctor there was able to fix my problem. I’m not great with reviews, all I can tell you is that this doctor and staff will have you up and running or doing whatever it is you do in no time. You will be in great hands. You’d be a fool not to use this doctor. Now its time to visit him again for the other toe.

Google User

Been having bad ankle pains for 6 months was referred here and it was a great visit ladies in the front desk medical assistants and the Doctor were all very friendly and make you feel very comfortable.

Elizabeth G.

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Dallas Office: 12221 Merit Drive, Suite 280, Dallas, TX 75251

Plano Office: 5068 W. Plano Parkway, Suite 155, Plano, TX 75093

Join the 100,000 happy feet that have found relief at Dallas Podiatry Works! Our Dallas podiatrist and Plano podiatrist provides 5-star-rated foot care and ankle care. Our advanced foot care includes children's foot care, sports-related foot injuries, bunion treatment, bunion removal surgery, toenail fungus treatment, ingrown toenail treatment, hammertoe treatment, claw toe treatment, neuroma treatment, heel pain relief, limb salvage, wound care, arthritis treatment, safe pedicure, medicures, corn removals, callus removals, wart removals and more.
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